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From fluffy sausage wallets to Pink Parts.

January 13, 2010

One of my very first posts on this site was about how we need to find a better way to talk about and teach sexual anatomy. (Oh, and how much I hate the term fluffy sausage wallet.)

After revamping the post and putting it on Amplify, a commenter mentioned an angle to me that I had never thought of before: the othering of female bodies in anatomy text books. We tend to think of the textbooks as neutral because they are scientific, but it’s also a field that was initially defined by men.

Why is it that if you compare an anatomy book for men versus that of women there is more out side stuff shown on a man than a woman where the focus is mostly on interior organs that you cant see? It really does make sense that these images wouldnt resoante with young women because when you are trying to learn and make sense of your body in health you are largely presented with pictures that you can not reconcile with what you would see in a hand mirror. I think this reflects some biases in anatomy text books that reveal the very male dominated medical profession … Its an interesting discussion not only about how we talk about our bodies but also how we represent and teach them. I dont think the fact that the female body seems to be “othered” in anatomy text books is an accident.

I think it is really interesting that in general pictures of sexual anatomy men’s external appearance is generally shown, but not women’s. That’s why I really like this sexual anatomy lesson “Pink Parts …or brown parts, or violet parts, or black parts, or peach parts, or…” from Scarleteen. It starts talking about sexual anatomy through what you can see and feel, and then moves inward, to have the best understanding of your own body.

ahhh. much better.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    January 14, 2010 3:18 PM

    OMG that article on Scarleteen is awesome!!! I learned all kinds of new things, especially about the internal parts of the clitoris. I had no idea that the clitoral tissue extends so far into our bodies, or that it is the same size in total as most penises! And I loved how the started from the outside with the parts that are easy to see, and might already be somewhat familiar and then discussed how things are connected to the inside! Do you think there are any schools progressive enough to have this in their sex ed curriculum? Because everyone should read this.

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